Writing Workshop II – The One Where Stephen Packs Something Unexpected When Sent to an Isolated Island to Make Hand Sanitizer… Join Us at the Cafe this Saturday for Week TWO!

When social distancing and stay home orders did not flatten the curve enough, they sent us all to separate islands based on our antigen contents.  Dr. F explained the reasoning, the conspiracy theorists plotted out the implications to the November elections, the President just peddled unproven drugs his son-in-law had stockpiled in January.  I just packed under 50 lbs worth of stuff for my direct flight not knowing when I’d be invited back to weed my garden or prune my apple trees.  The negative results meant I had to go this exclusive island with other Negatores where we were tasked with making hand-sanitizer to be shipped back to the Antigeners who worked selected businesses to jump start the economy. 

We all endured the one last Corona Body Scan specially devised to ensure our safety until the courageous Vaccinators proved the efficacy of the drugs.  Then we moved into our COVID Urts with our specially designated Part-Negator who would be ready to call emergency services as they burnt our bodies in the island’s purifier.  No chances could be taken at all, and so moral compasses could not be packed in our 50 lbs.

Me and my P-N compared our haul to see what unusual thing we brought to comfort us through these indeterminate times.  His juggling balls seemed extraneous to me, but when he talked about his clown heritage and how these were the very balls his Grandfather juggled while setting the tightrope distance walk before the Fabulous Wallendas came on the scene, I had to give him props.  My extra item was the pillow Mom sewed for me from one of my late father’s shirts.  It had been forgotten for a reason in my closet and fell to the floor when I got out the suitcase, but now that reason had been forgotten. 

This month we celebrate the second month of Tanya‘s Writing Workshop with a little discussion of packing… that might be thematic. Please join us!

Our prompt:

  1. Isolate your protagonist/s on an island of their own making. This could range from a remote picnic, a cabin retreat, a self-isolating pandemic, or anything you can imagine that puts your character/s in self-isolating circumstance. You can write about your own experience and make this a non-fiction piece if you want.
  2. Have your protagonist/s pack, take, store, or purchase something unexpected to get them through the time. State why it is contrary for the character. “She packed deviled eggs—something she usually hated to take on a picnic because they were so messy.”
  3. Have fun. Don’t stress. Make mistakes. Allow yourself some extra words to freely explore your subject, maybe dive in a bit deeper to the “unexpected” than you had planned.

15 thoughts on “Writing Workshop II – The One Where Stephen Packs Something Unexpected When Sent to an Isolated Island to Make Hand Sanitizer… Join Us at the Cafe this Saturday for Week TWO!

  1. A totally enjoyable piece of creative writing Stephen, and as I’m reclining here on my bed, these words brought warm smiles to my heart….
    ” My extra item was the pillow Mom sewed for me from one of my late father’s shirts. It had been forgotten for a reason in my closet and fell to the floor when I got out the suitcase, but now that reason had been forgotten.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous write, Stephen, and this made me smile. I agree with Ivor and I feel your creativity really shines with this piece. WordPress retired my theme for Eugi’s Causerie, which sent me scrambling to find a theme that suits my blog. That and being distracted because of concerns over the virus has slowed down my progress, As my mother used to say “this too shall pass”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Eugi! It takes me away from my usual tropes, for sure. But also has those connection points I value. Fun to write this way!

      I think we are all slowed a bit. Tante keeps reaching out to me with concern over the response for his month’s workshop, and I feel her anxiety about it, but I also sense that everyone is just reeling a little bit this month. What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel everyone has different concerns depending on where they live and their lifestyle. I love Tanya’s idea but I haven’t been able to get to it. Eugi’s weekly prompt is crazy busy, perhaps because it is an outlet for people to vent. Most of what I see relates to fallout from the virus. Some people’s lives have turned upside down and others are just trying to cope.

        Once things get back to the “new normal”, I feel Tanya’s workshop will be more active.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I agree and that has largely been my counsel to her. I think most of us process in quick bits like poetry, especially the emotional fallout of the virus. Whether we are stuck in the struggle or finding the bright in the darkness, we are processing emotionally which lends well to the poetic impulse. Certainly for me, although my “man” brain tends to resort to the practical and just doing things and thus putting the emotions into a box for later.

        Naturally this is not a “man” thing per se, but a solution to help me manage the chaos that seems linked to what my mom and dad taught me men were supposed to do… poetry was not manly…

        Which of course then leads me to what I had started talking about at my blog a month or so ago before the virus who shall not be named showed up…

        Chickens arrive next week, that doesn’t have me thinking poetry, that has me thinking… I gotta get the run built and some chicken feed.

        And none of that gets me to prose… except that I want to support Tanya and the hard work she has put into these workshops.

        Wow… that was a lot…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not a lot, just speaking your mind. which is good. I’ll see how I can support Tanya on Eugi’s Causerie, now that it is back together. Sometimes reblogs are not the best way to promote and tend to be ignored.

        I believe people are focusing on what they can and things that require a lot of thinking are shoved to the back burner.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: UPDATE: WRITER’S WORKSHOP II, April, 2020: Sally Packed Devilled Eggs, The “Deep-Holes” of Alice Munro | Go Dog Go Café

  4. You really should write short stories or novels, Stephen! You got the creative genius going on this one. It is funny, fresh, and fast moving. I love the premise…Well, I am terrified by the premise, but I think it is a wonderful response to the prompt. Lol
    And, the fact that it unnerved me, speaks to the quality of the writing. Great writing makes you feel things, sometimes uncomfortable things. This piece accomplished all of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Goodness… thank you Tanya. Perhaps I will fit it in, barely have time to write poetry, grab them here and there, but focus is on doing the next right thing in this crazy age. I am very glad you liked this.

      Liked by 1 person

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